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White's Tree Frog from Australia

Updated on July 27, 2012
The white's tree frog
The white's tree frog | Source

The whites tree frog, a very popular pet

White’s tree frog (Litoria cerulae) is one of the most popular amphibians kept in captivity. Although it is not as striking looking as the red eyed tree frog, it makes up for it by its hardiness and its ease of care. Also there is something incredibly laid back and its calm nature. This is a frog with a really positive outlook on life!

Average frog is about 10 cm, 4 inches in length. Females are generally bigger than males. The frog has a ravenous appetite and can easily become obese. It develops folds on its neck and body as it gets fatter, giving in a flabby appearance. Because of its tendency to become fat it is often called ‘the dumpy frog’. The name, white’s tree frog comes from John White who first described the frogs in 1790.

There are two morphs of these tree frogs, the Australian form is green, sometimes with a lovely blue sheen. The Indonesian morph is generally brown.

The White's tree frog often appears to be smiling
The White's tree frog often appears to be smiling | Source

Your frog's enclosure

As with all arboreal frogs it requires a tall tank furnished with many sturdy branches and optimally live plants. It is quite a big frog and an individual should be housed in a minimum 25 gallon enclosure. The tank needs to be well ventilated and maintained at a temperature in the warmest place of 86F-30oC, Having a warm spot should allow a temperature gradient to form so the frog can thermoregulate. The temperature can drop at night down to a minimum of about 68F, 20oC.

Humidity should be moderate, created by occasionally spraying the tank with dechlorinated, room temperature water from a spray bottle. The White’s tree frog does not swim but it requires a shallow dish with dechlorinated water in which it will sit when it needs to absorb water. Since frogs absorb impurities through their very permeable skin it is very important to change the water daily, and to make sure that all chlorine, chloramine and other harmful chemicals are removed.

The brown morph of the white's tree frog
The brown morph of the white's tree frog | Source

Whites frog diet

As with the majority of other frogs they will eat suitably sized feeder insects like crickets, roaches, moths and worms. Because they are quite large an adult white’s frog should be fed adult crickets. Feeder insects should be gutloaded on nutritious vegetables like carrots 24 hours before being fed, and dusted with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement immediately prior to feeding once a week.

How much to feed is rather problematic with these frogs, since they will happily eat all the time. Many keepers notice that their pets associate them with food and will call out as soon as they enter the room in the hope of being offered a tasty cricket. This is probably the only amphibian that begs for food! However, feeding too much can lead to obesity, which is as harmful to pets as it is to people.

Probably the best way to decide how much to feed them is by observing the frog, and modulating the number of crickets according to how it is doing. It should be plump and flabby, but not too fat. You can use the tympanic ridges on its head as a guide, these are folds of fat immediately behind the ears. A well fed frog should have these, but they should not be too large. If they are beginning to cover the eyes, they are too big and you should cut down on the number of insects fed. Truly obese frogs are practically blinded by the fat folds covering their eyes, obviously an undesirable development. As with most adult amphibians they should be fed three times a week. Growing juveniles need daily feeding.

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    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi aa. This is a great hub, very informative. Had not heard of the Whites Tree Frog but they look like they would make an interesting pet. My sister has some pet frogs but I'm not sure what kind they are, guess I should find out? I love the pictures. Great job. Voting up and sharing.

    • Volitans profile image

      Volitans 4 years ago from Seattle

      Yet another critter to add to my wishlist... Thanks for this hub, useful and interesting! Those frogs definitely look happy.

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